According to the complaint, beginning in at least September 2020 and continuing until at least December 2020, Leidel and Sorg engaged in a campaign of harassment against Leidel’s ex-wife. As part of the campaign, the defendants made numerous false reports about the victim to civilian and military law enforcement, child protective services, medical providers, her employer, and her family members. Leidel also created multiple email accounts and websites in the victim’s name that he used to disseminate false and private information about her. When the victim learned of these activities and asked Leidel to stop, he responded by creating additional websites that falsely accused her of being a child abuser, drug addict, and prostitute.
The victim suffered significant financial harm as a result of the defendants’ actions. As set forth in the complaint, numerous businesses closed accounts associated with the victim after receiving false reports that she had committed credit card fraud. In addition, as a result of the false reports made by Leidel to child protective services, the victim was required to hire an attorney to defend herself. The defendants also caused the victim emotional distress by accessing her medical records and publicly disclosing private information about her health.
If convicted of cyberstalking resulting in death or serious bodily injury, Leidel and Sorg each face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. If convicted of aggravated identity theft or fraud related to a protected computer, they each face a mandatory two-year sentence that must be consecutive to any other sentence imposed. If convicted of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking resulting in death or serious bodily injury or identity theft or fraud related to a protected computer resulting in death or serious bodily injury they each face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN as part of DOJ’s violent crime reduction strategy aimed at elevating certain prosecutors around the country responsible for prosecuting violent crime cases so that they can increase their emphasis on investigating illegal gun use; prosecuting firearm possession offenses; tracking illegal online firearms traffickers; pursuing prosecuted offenders who illegally possess firearms; temporarily detaining dangerous individuals before trial; using technologies like ballistics tracing technology; targeting gang members for prosecution when there adding charges will increase sentences; partnering with state equivalent programs; collaborating with law enforcement partners including local police departments; forging new relationships between prosecutors' offices and local police departments if needed; concentrating resources within those districts where violent crime rates are highest among repeat offenders; training law enforcement officers specifically regarding community-based violence prevention efforts that focus on identifying young people involved with gangs early-on before they engage too deeply with gang culture responsibility for each District's PSN Program lies with its U.S Attorney who designates an Assistant U S Attorney from his/her Office as his/her PSN Coordinator For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods please visit wwwpsndojgov
Leidel and Sorg are facing some serious charges including cyberstalking resulting in death or serious bodily injury which has a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison if convicted. If you or anyone you know is facing charges similar to this case then please contact an experienced computer forensics litigation consultant as soon as possible because these charges should not be taken lightly.